USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘potato’
Humor
Stereotypes/Blason Populaire

Joke – Dumb Blonde in a Potato Sack

Joke – Dumb Blonde in a Potato Sack

“There’s three girls running from the police: one is blonde, one is a redhead, and the other is a brunette. They go into this barn to hide, and see a few potato sacks on the floor, so they each crawl inside one to hide. The police catch up and come into the barn, and they see the potato sacks on the floor. One of the cops goes up to the first sack with the brunette in it and nudges it with his foot, and the brunette goes, ‘meow, meow’ really softly. The cop says, ‘oh, it’s just kittens.’ He then nudges the sack with the redhead in it, so she goes, ‘woof woof’ really softly. The cop goes, ‘oh, it’s just puppies.’ Then the cop goes to the last sack with the blonde in it and nudges it, and she goes, ‘POTATOES!’”
The informant doesn’t really remember where she first heard this joke, but says it was years ago and probably at school. Although blonde jokes seem to stem from a stereotype that is often associated with blonde women from California, the informant is from Texas, but also blonde. She made it very clear that she is not offended by blonde jokes, and knows she is “smarter than most people who tell blonde jokes.” She doesn’t really understand where this stereotype that blonde women are less intelligent came from, but she finds these jokes funny, and knows many of them. The informant did mention that she has noticed that the stereotype does not usually apply to blonde men, which gives the stereotype a sexist aspect. Although these jokes have existed for years, the informant attributes their popularity to the media and “dumb blonde celebrities,” such as Jessica Simpson and Playboy Playmates.
I agree with the informant that recent depictions of blonde women in the media live up to this stereotype, which only strengthens the stereotype and leads to the further dissemination of these jokes. The most vivid example that really went down in “pop culture” history is from MTV’s reality television show, “The Newlyweds,” where Jessica Simpson was depicted as a shallow, dumb blonde, saying things like, “is it chicken or is it fish?” (referring to the Chicken of the Sea tuna fish brand). This one statement still lives on in popular culture’s representations of blonde women, and only helps perpetuate this stereotype and this form of humor.

Foodways
general

Recipe – General European

The informant learned the following recipe for potato soup from her mother:

The informant briefly summarizes the recipe: “It was just a few, um, ingredients: potatoes and milk and cream, and salt and pepper, and onions, and usually it was in a crockpot, uh, but it made a nice, simple, creamy tom—potato soup . . . a simple potato soup that you’d make for the big family. Um, I’m sure it had some of her European background to it, uh, as well. But just simple.” Her expanded account of the process of making the soup is here: Potato Soup

She describes the recipe as “pretty much something you’d make quite often, but not for any particular occasion . . . just, you know.”

The informant likes the recipe but has given up on making it for the moment due to her frustration over the last time she tried to do so: “I haven’t—I haven’t had very much—the last time I tried to make it I screwed it up and something meant—went wrong with the milk, or either the milk was in there and got scalded, or, uh, it cooked too long with the onions or something, but I screwed it up last time and haven’t tried it since.”

Potatoes are known for being cheap, hearty, and, despite the informant’s difficulties, easy to cook, so it makes sense that the recipe would have been made for a large family, since large amounts of the ingredients could be thrown in a crockpot and left to simmer without effort until the milk and cream were added. The informant didn’t specify what part of Europe her family was from, but at least two cookbooks, The Frittata Affair (134) and Delicious Soup Recipes (36) contain similar recipes under the title “Irish Potato Soup,” which is not surprising given the status of potatoes as a staple in Irish cuisine. Both of those recipes, however, substitute butter for cream.

Sources:

Johnson, F Keith. Delicious Soup Recipes. New York: Ventures, 2010.

Pochini, Judy. The Frittata Affair: Adventures in Four-Star Dining at Home. Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2007.

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